<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sun, 04 Oct 2015 08:41:05 -0700 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 08:41:05 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Lawsuit Battles SDG&E’s Plan to Charge for Wildfires]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 12:38:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/185*120/101908-Wildfire-Ramona.jpg

San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) plan to ask ratepayers to cover costs associated with the 2007 wildfires is being hit with a lawsuit filed by the firm of the former San Diego City Attorney.

Michael Aguirre and his law firm, Aguirre & Severson, filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of Ruth Henricks against SDG&E’s efforts. In the suit, Henricks is described by the law firm as having “a long history of dedicated opposition to SDG&E’s attempts to recover in rates the costs arising from the fires in 2007 caused by SDG&E’s equipment.”

Prior to filing the lawsuit Aguirre had called SDG&E’s proposed rate increase “outrageous.”

On Sept. 25, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve a new electricity rate hike that will ask customers to pay almost $380 million in settlement fees associated with the 2007 wildfires that ravaged the county.

SDG&E first owed $463 million to firestorm victims after an independent report by Cal Fire determined its power lines caused the Witch, Rice, and Guejito fires. Two people died and 1,300 homes burned down. Losses have run upwards of $2 billion.

Initially, SDG&E faced 2,500 lawsuits related to the 2007 fires and $4 billion in claims, but the company settled most of them at a cost of $2.4 billion. The cost of some of the settlements was taken from the company's liability insurance and recoveries from third parties.

Today, $420 million in costs remains unpaid.

SDG&E filed paperwork on Sept. 25 in an attempt to pass along the costs to ratepayers.

Shareholders would pay 10 percent of the remaining bill, or $42 million. Customers would pay for the remaining $379 million of that legal tab.

SDG&E said the average customer's bill would cost $1.70 more per month for a customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month. The company has said it would take six years to pay off the sum at that rate.

“We have gone to great lengths to minimize the impact to our customers by successfully settling these lawsuits rather than taking them to trial, which would have been significantly more costly,” said Lee Schavrien, chief administrative officer for SDG&E, in a statement. “We are in the final stages of this proceeding, and after eight years, we believe that, as a company, a community and a region, we are much better prepared for a future fire emergency.”

If the change is approved, it would likely take effect in 2017.

Since the 2007 fires, SDG&E said it has taken steps to prevent similar incidents from happening by installing over 170 weather stations across its service territory. Those stations enhance operational safety and overall situational awarness, SDG&E says.

This is not the first time SDG&E has asked CPUC to approve a new electricty rate hike. In Dec. 2012, CPUC denied a request from the company to retroactively impose a rate hike of nearly half a billion dollars to cover the cost of power-line caused fires in 2007, plus the cost of future damages.

SDG&E had asked that ratepayers cover 95 percent of the losses with Sempra investors on the hook for the rest. The company said this would cost the average customer around $190, payable at the rate of $3 to $4 per month for up to four years.

CPUC will likely issue their final decision by the first quarter of 2017.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Officials: Oregon College Shooter Died of Apparent Suicide]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:34:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_51415249853.jpg

The man armed with several guns who walked into a Thursday morning writing class at a rural Oregon community college and fatally shot nine people, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, speaking at a news conference Saturday, said the medical examiner's office has determined the cause of death as suicide.

Officials initially said the shooter, identified as 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer, was killed during a shoot out with officers responding to the Umpqua Community College campus. The worst mass shooting in Oregon history also injured nine people.

Hanlin also revealed an additional gun was found at the apartment Harper-Mercer shared with his mother, bringing the total number of weapons seized to 14. 

Harper-Mercer was armed with a 9mm Glock pistol and .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, according to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives incident report obtained by The Associated Press.

Mercer also had a .40-caliber Taurus pistol traced to someone in Portland and a .556-caliber Del-Ton.

ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Celine Nunez announced Friday at a news conference that six weapons were recovered at the college campus and an additional seven were found at the shooter's home.

Nunez said the firearms were purchased legally by the shooter or a family member in the last three years. Officials did not say whether the latest gun found at Harper-Mercer's home was purchased legally. 

Investigators also found a flak jacket next to a rifle at the school, which contained steel plates, Nunez said.

Officials conducting searches at the school, shooter's residence and vehicle have also seized documents and digital media, Hanlin said.

"The Oregon State Police Crime Lab as well as the ATF and FBI Laboratories are all engaged in the effort to move forward with processing this evidence," he added.

Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg said the Oregon State Police's investigation into the officer-involved shooting is "nearing conclusion."

"I expect to be presented with the case early next week. Once I receive the case, I will do a thorough review and make a determination on whether the use of force was justified," he said.

In a statement, Harper-Mercer's family expressed their grief and offered prayers to the families of the victims.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific events that unfolded on Thursday, October 1. Our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the families of those who died and were injured," the statement read.

Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Mercer left behind a multi-page document at the shooting scene espousing what one of them called "a philosophy of hate."

Two officials familiar with the contents say he wrote that he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."

The officials said he lamented the fact that he had no girlfriend. "He said he had no life," another official said, adding, "He felt the world was against him."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Car Abandoned Near Deadly Hit-and-Run]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:26:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Vista-hIT-rUN-1003.jpg

A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run collision in Vista Friday night and the driver who hit him fled the scene, abandoning the car involved in the crash on a street nearby.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said a 65-year-old man was crossing South Santa Fe Avenue near Palmyra Drive at around 10:15 p.m. – about 200 feet from the crosswalk -- when he was struck by a driver in a red Chevrolet Prism.

Instead of stopping, the driver fled the scene, leaving the victim critically injured on the roadway. The victim died, CHP confirmed.

Officers found the hit-and-run suspect’s red car abandoned on Estrelita Drive, about a half-mile away from the scene of the deadly crash. The windshield was badly shattered.

There was no sign of the driver.

Investigators impounded the car as evidence, marking it with a large, yellow tag labeled “CHP.” Officials said they have leads on who the driver of the car is, and they’re working on tracking him down.

Investigators said there may also be a second hit-and-run driver involved in this incident, as it appears that once the victim was down in the street, he was hit by another car described as a white or silver sedan, possibly a Toyota.

The driver also fled the scene. Investigators are now looking for that car as well, which likely sustained damaged to its front bumper.

The hit-and-run is under investigation. At this time, officials have not yet determined if alcohol or drugs played a role in the collision.

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP at (858) 637-3800. The victim’s name was not immediately released.

On Saturday, NBC 7 spoke with two pedestrians near the site of the deadly hit-and-run who both said the intersection there is not safe enough. There is no sidewalk, but rather a dirt path to walk on.

Residents said cars speed on that roadway all the time, but there have been no traffic safety improvements to the area to prevent that from happening so often.

"I just doesn't feel safe," said neighbor Raymond Rea. "It's really hard to walk on this dirt path."

Now, a vase with flowers rests at the intersection as a small tribute to the victim.

Friends in the area told NBC 7 the victim was a nice man. He was walking to the store when he was hit by the car.

Witnesses said the collision was a difficult sight.

"That was terrible. You don't want to see anyone die -- especially in a hit-and-run," said witness Tony Hernandez. "It was a tragic moment for me. I saw that and I felt for the man. I don't think that was a right thing that was happpening."

Those who knew the victim are hoping investigators find the hit-and-run driver very soon.

"Maybe he'll learn a lesson," said Rea. "I hope he does get caught."

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Dies After Crashing Into Center Divide: CHP]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 19:34:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Ysidro-Motorcycle-Ax-1003.jpg

A motorcyclist died Saturday morning after crashing their motorcycle into the center divide, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said. 

The incident happened near the San Ysidro point of entry shortly before 2:30 a.m., officials said. 

The motorcyclist was traveling toward the entry point on the southbound I-5 when he lost control and hit the center divide. 

The motorist was pronounced dead at the scene. 

CHP officials closed off two lanes to the port of entry, but other freeway traffic was not affected. 

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[SANDAG Wants More Money for Transit, Housing]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 19:32:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trolley-generic-0417.jpg

San Diego transit and affordable housing advocates are boosting their efforts to tap special state money sources -- in competition with the L.A. and Bay Areas.

This region has a relatively small public transit system.

But to tilt the odds more in its favor, planners involved in that funding competition could take a page out of L.A.'s playbook by earmarking a bigger chunk of its transit land for low-income housing, as well as by getting waivers on guidelines more suited to the L.A. and Bay Area population densities.

"We were successful this year in getting more than our proportional share of the dollars that were available statewide,” said Charles Stoll, director of land use and transportation planning for the San Diego Regional Assn. of Governments (SANDAG). 

“There's no reason to believe that we can't do that again next year,” Stoll added in an interview Friday.  “As a matter of fact, the Los Angeles area did not get its proportional share."

One of two major projects to receive that special state funding this year was the 200-unit Paradise Creek apartment complex in National City, about a block away from the 24th Street Trolley Station.

The selling point?

Getting more people in housing that’s near public transit.

But a big consideration at the state level is that while nearly one in ten low-income residences in this area are within a half a mile of public transit, fewer than half are close to transit stopping every 15 minutes at peak travel hours, letting riders jump on without having to look at schedules.
SANDAG is hoping that guideline for state funding gets adjusted so it's more favorable here.

Said Stoll: "We continue to work with the state agency, the Strategic Growth Council at the state, to work with them on their guidelines to make it as easy and fair as possible for projects in our region to be able to compete."

The concept certainly has appeal to trolley riders who spoke with NBC 7 Friday at the 24th Street station.

"I wish there was a trolley more close to my house,” said Bonita resident Latisha Pinkney.  “I would just love to walk, save money on gas, not even use my car as much --  really rely on my legs and the trolley to get to where I need to go."

That’s music to the ears of housing advocates.

"If we can put the folks, the workforce that needs affordable homes near transit," said Laura Nunn, policy director for the San Diego Housing Federation, “we can really have a great opportunity to be forward thinking and work within the goals set by the state to lower greenhouse gas emissions."

Regional planning agencies are expecting a 50 percent increase in funding from that special transit-oriented housing program next year – up to about $200 million statewide.
And SANDAG is determined to qualify again for a bigger proportional share of that financial pie. 

<![CDATA[FWSD 2015: Wall Street Runway Shows Recap]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:45:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/FWSD-Fri-131.jpg

After undergoing a same-day total transformation, the block of Wall Street nestled between Girard and Ivanhoe in La Jolla became San Diego’s “place to be” Friday night.

With seagulls soaring high above the white draped skyway, Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) 2015 surged into the first night of its fashion runway shows. The program’s newest home – in the heart of La Jolla – had the whole neighborhood buzzing (and dancing, thanks to killer tunes from DJ Artistic).

Night 1 of the Wall Street shows featured 12 collections that had never before been seen. How exciting is that? Co-MCs Jeff Krapf and NBC 7’s Jodi Kodesh welcomed runway guests, followed by a presentation by County Supervisor Ron Roberts.

Did you know he’s a trained architect? After joking about being invited as the “token local official,” he continued by noting – as a fellow designer – he can especially appreciate the process of taking an idea and translating it into something physical. Supervisor Roberts (whose district includes La Jolla) applauded Allison Andrews and the FWSD organization for cultivating a new level of expertise and breed of entrepreneur within San Diego.

With 3,000 attendees at last year’s Fashion Week, the event is bringing people and business to our local economy. The growing success of FWSD is also a true testament to all Andrews and her team have done to create a more vibrant San Diego. And with that, Roberts declared this week – across San Diego County – “’Fashion Week San Diego’ Week.”

Andrews then stayed on the runway to share a few opening words with the crowd. After thanking the community of La Jolla and neighboring businesses for so warmly welcoming FWSD – I think it’s clear she has a serious talent for creating outstanding partnerships – Andrews reminded us that “this is more than a fashion show – this is business.”

By participating in Fashion Week we are helping to launch and define careers, which is really quite an honor when you think about it. And for someone who finds incredible inspiration in entrepreneurial success stories – her sentiments actually made me a bit emotional. My hat goes off to these brave and courageous designers, who take the risk of following their passion and putting it on display for the world to see.

She gave a final thanks to FSWD 2014 Top Designer A’doreus, who designed her wonderfully flowy gown with accents of both pink and blue. Andrews is a beautiful seven-months-pregnant and she and her husband are waiting to learn baby’s gender, so the dress offers that most meaningful touch. You can imagine how – as a mom of three, including a precious little guy born earlier this year – all the baby feels started coming up. After an on-the-spot “hold it together, sister” pep talk with myself, I was ready for some runway magic.

Alexandra Marie started the show as the opening designer. At just 19 years old – the youngest in FWSD history – I was beyond impressed with her craftsmanship. While I’m keeping her super cute bikinis in mind for “serious- baby-weight-loss Lindsay,” I need every kimono she showed now. I thought it might be inappropriate to just help myself as the models passed by, so I’ll politely await Sunday’s trunk show.

I was so lucky to be seated next to the delightful Black family, whose daughter Mackenzie modeled Alexandra Marie’s final look. Not only were they the coolest parents and grandma ever, but they reminded me how Fashion Week really connects so many different people across San Diego. From models to makeup artists to photographers to freelance writers who still can’t believe they were selected to cover Fashion Week (that’s my hand in the air) – FWSD brings our city together and gives us all a greater sense of community. And that’s way stylish.

Next up were Bearly Proper – whose contemporary menswear collection featured the most unexpectedly hip quilted pinafore – and Carou Belle, who treated us all to a charming escape with her “seaside love”-themed gowns. They had bubbles…bubbles!

Voted last year’s second-place designer, Rachel of Lady Lane then wowed guests with her signature vintage perspective. Glorious and girly, her looks made me want to run out and buy an English cottage, complete with well-tended rose garden.

And she had kids. The most captivating little guys and gals. You could hear the collective “aww” echo down the runway.

I had the pleasure of seeing Rachel’s pieces up-close at the second “Glamour on Goldfinch” brunch event in September, at which she was the spotlighted designer. And when she came out for the final walk in the most gorgeous red lace number, you could see why everything she touches turns to darling. Floral femininity for the win!

Following Lady Lane was Saturne Collection, a perfect example of those success stories I told you I loved so much. Once a homeless veteran now fully pursuing his unique take on trendy men’s separates – I think Marcelin Saturne would agree that design has the power to change us. The ability to create is one of the greatest gifts we have, and if it’s in your bones – you have to be true to that calling.

Dynamite Doll closed out the first half of collections with Annaiah Jones’ just-absolutely-joyful creations. You couldn’t help but smile as the models – some gracing the crowd with imaginary dust from their fairy wands – happily worked the runway to an original song written and performed by Jones herself.

Speaking of songs, I really can’t say enough about how much the amazing music added to the overall experience. DJ Artistic had selections so perfectly paired with the collection being shown – remixed Whitney Houston for swim and resort, gritty blues for cool menswear, dreamy alternative for the vintage-inspired line --- with a super upbeat vibe before and after. Walking up to the venue, I even caught a few valet parking attendants busting a move.

I couldn’t wait for the second half of the show to begin, as I’ve been blessed to get to know Fatsani and Tariro of Tasanni (combination of their first two names) over these past several weeks leading up to the runway event. You could say their collaboration was decades-in-the-making, as they actually met in fourth grade as schoolmates in Zimbabwe.

Through a crazy number of coincidences (or were they?), their paths continued to cross – with both ladies ending up in the States and wanting to go into business together to give back to their native Malawian and Zimbabwean communities. That desire is now reflected in classic shapes that have been reinterpreted with African-inspired prints – visions concepted in America, but produced in the Tasanni homeland – resulting in a collection that’s uplifting and fresh.

Quynn Atelier then brought us her pastel sweetness, and Graciela Llorente a sophisticated-yet-wearable line of cobalt blues and sunny yellows. Can I start planning springtime tea dates now?

Last year’s winner and crowd favorite A’doreus then presented her chic palette of dark florals and a petal-hued abstract print, in a masterful blend of refined and bohemian. I couldn’t get enough of the perforated fabric seen throughout her dresses (honestly – I’m still thinking about it as I write this). Yes, yes, yes.

Alber Rezko took us to the provocative with his presentation of fine jewelry, but what stood out most to me was his final sequined gown bearing his first name on front, last name on back. Genius, with a delightful nod to Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Nolan Dean brought the first night of Wall Street shows to a stunning end, with red carpet-worthy looks that – upon first glance – elicited an immediate gasp from guests.

Seriously, I would love to see every single one of his designs in next season’s award show circuit, and already have handpicked pieces for Anne (Hathaway), Kate (Winslet) and Cate (Blanchett). The Spanish violin-led soundtrack only enhanced the runway drama we all were more than enjoying. And the extraordinary movement seen in his construction was, well, quite moving.

If this is how the runway shows are starting, I can’t even begin to imagine the talent we’ll see Saturday evening. Thanks again for joining me on this most exciting and fashionable journey. Hope you’re loving it as much as I am!

Photo Credit: Naugle Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Poll: Trump's Lead Narrows as Fiorina, Carson Close In]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:42:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fiorina-Trump-Carson.jpg

Donald Trump remains ahead in the early Republican nominating contests of Iowa and New Hampshire, but his lead has shrunk from a month ago, according to new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of these two states.

In New Hampshire, Trump holds a five-point advantage over Carly Fiorina among GOP primary voters, 21 percent to 16 percent. But a month ago Trump's lead over the nearest competition in the Granite State (John Kasich) was 16 points, 28 percent to 12 percent.

Trump is ahead of Carson by five points among potential GOP caucus-goers in Iowa, 24 percent to 19 percent - with Fiorina in third at 8 percent. Trump's lead over Carson in the same poll a month ago was seven points.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton maintains her lead in Iowa with 47 percent support of caucus voters, and Bernie Sanders is still ahead in New Hampshire, leading the former secretary of state by nine points, 48 percent to 39 percent.  

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Israel Restricts Palestinian Access to Jerusalem's Old City]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 06:55:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_610256804884.jpg

In an unprecedented measure, Israeli police barred Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday in response to stabbing attacks that killed two Israelis and wounded three others, as Israel's prime minister vowed a "harsh offensive" to counter rising violence.

Tensions have flared in recent weeks over an Old City holy site sacred to Muslims and Jews, a series of so-called "lone wolf" attacks on Israelis and a security clampdown, which on Sunday saw Israeli troops launch a bloody arrest raid in the West Bank.

The latest spike in violence comes at a time when many Palestinians no longer believe statehood through negotiations with Israel is possible. Israeli commentators raised the possibility of a third uprising, though Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has so far prevented major outbreaks of violence despite his growing friction with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In response to the recent violence, Israeli police said they would prevent Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from entering the Old City for two days during a Jewish holiday. Palestinians who live, work and study within the Old City, as well as Israelis and tourists, will be allowed in.

"This is a drastic measure that's being taken in order to make sure there are no further attacks during the Jewish festival where you can see thousands of people visiting the Old City," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Israel captured the Old City and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, and later annexed the areas. Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their hoped-for state.

Some 300,000 Palestinians live in Jerusalem, making up about a third of the city's population. They live in the predominantly Arab eastern district and have residency status in the city, but do not hold Israeli citizenship.

They are usually free to enter the Old City in east Jerusalem, where major Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites are located. Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann said it is the first time since Israel captured the Old City in 1967 that it has prevented Jerusalem's Palestinians from entering.

In the latest attack, Israeli police say a Palestinian teenager stabbed and moderately wounded a 15-year-old Israeli early Sunday morning in Jerusalem before being shot dead by Israeli police.

Israeli TV showed footage of the alleged assailant walking along the city's light rail tracks as bystanders screamed, "Shoot him!" In the video, a police car arrives on the scene, multiple gunshots are heard, and the attacker is then seen lying on the ground.

The attack came hours after a Palestinian teen fatally stabbed two Israelis in the Old City and wounded the wife and toddler of one of the slain men, before the attacker was shot dead by an Israeli police officer. Israeli officials identified the victims of Saturday's attack as Aharon Banita, a 21-year-old soldier, and Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, a father of seven who was a rabbi at a seminary in the Old City's Muslim Quarter.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks over a major holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators have clashed repeatedly there in recent weeks.

The unrest has spread to the West Bank, where at least 18 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli troops Sunday during an Israeli arrest raid. On Friday, an Israeli couple was killed in a Palestinian drive-by shooting in the West Bank.

Netanyahu said he would meet with security officials Sunday to decide on a "harsh offensive on Palestinian Islamic terror," according to a statement on his Facebook page. "We are in an all-out war against terror," Netanyahu wrote.

Israel's leading newspaper commentator, Nahum Barnea, called the recent violence the "Third Intifada," referring to Palestinian uprisings in the 1980s and the early 2000s. "Not calling it by name allows the political and military establishment to evade, repress, shirk responsibility," he wrote in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper.

But Hani al-Masri, a Palestinian political analyst, said it was not likely the start of a new Intifada. "Intifada needs a leadership and the Palestinian political leadership is against it," he said.

Relatives of the teen behind Sunday's attack identified him as Fadi Alloun, 19, from traditionally Arab east Jerusalem. On Saturday, he wrote on his Facebook page: "Either martyrdom or victory."

Muhannad Halabi, the 19-year-old Palestinian behind the deadly stabbing attack on Saturday, also wrote a post on Facebook before the attack: "What's happening to our holy places? What's happening to our mothers and sisters in the Al-Aqsa mosque? We are not the people who accept humiliation. Our people will revolt."

The sacred hilltop compound is a frequent flashpoint and its fate is at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is known to Jews as the Temple Mount, site of the two biblical Jewish temples. Muslims revere it as the Noble Sanctuary, where they believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven in a night journey.

Non-Muslim visitors are only allowed to enter the site at specific hours and are banned by police from praying there. Many Muslims view Jewish visits as a provocation and accuse Jewish extremists of plotting to take over the site. Israel has promised to ensure the delicate arrangement at the site and insists it will not allow the status quo there to be changed.

In the West Bank, Israeli troops shot and wounded at least 26 Palestinians in an arrest raid in the Jenin refugee camp, a Palestinian hospital director said. The refugee camp was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the second Palestinian intifada.

Monther Irshaid, director of the Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin, said the Palestinians were shot in the legs with live bullets and two suffered serious leg injuries.

The clashes broke out as troops surrounded the home of a Palestinian suspect. Witnesses said Israeli troops fired a "small missile" at the house to force the suspect out. The Israeli military said a few dozen Palestinians attacked troops with pipe bombs and that troops responded with "riot dispersal means."

Troops arrested two Palestinians suspected of "terror activity," the army said. One armed suspect barricaded himself inside a building and a fire broke out during the arrest, the army said without elaborating. The army said troops found explosive devices inside.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pope: Marriage Is an 'Indissoluble Bond']]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 06:41:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/PopeFrancisFamilyMeeting.jpg

Pope Francis opened a divisive meeting of the world's bishops on family issues Sunday by forcefully asserting that marriage is an indissoluble bond between man and woman. But he said the church doesn't judge and must "seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy."

Francis dove head-on into the most pressing issue confronting the meeting of 270 bishops during a solemn Mass in St. Peter's Basilica: How to better minister to Catholic families experiencing separation, divorce and other problems when the church's teaching holds that marriage is forever.

He insisted that the church cannot be "swayed by passing fads or popular opinion." But in an acknowledgment that marriages fail, he said the church is also a mother, who doesn't point fingers or judge her children.

"The church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission and instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock," he said.

One of the major debates at the synod is whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion.

Francis launched the synod process two years ago by sending out a 39-point questionnaire to bishops, parishes and ordinary Catholic families around the world asking about their understanding of and adherence to church teaching on family matters. Their responses showed a widespread rift between official Catholic teaching and practice, particularly on sex, marriage and homosexuality.

A first meeting of bishops ended last October with no consensus on how to better welcome gays and divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in the church. Conservatives insisted that Catholic doctrine is clear and unchanging. Progressives acknowledged the doctrine but sought wiggle room in pastoral practice.

In the ensuing 12 months, both sides have dug in and sparks are expected to fly in Round 2. In fact, few Vatican meetings have enjoyed as controversial a run-up as this one. There have been allegations of manipulation and coercion; secret caucuses to plot strategy; de-facto laws passed to take the wind out of the debate.

And on the eve of the synod, a Vatican monsignor outed himself as gay and denounced widespread homophobia in the church.

"We are happy if there is turbulence," said Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Italian running the synod. "We are in the sea, and so there has to be some turbulence."

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's finance manager who is firmly in the conservative camp, predicted little more than a reaffirmation of the status quo would emerge in Round 2, albeit with perhaps better explanation as to why the status quo exists.

"It's quite impossible for there to be any change in the church's teaching on Communion for the divorced and remarried," Pell said on the sidelines of a conference last week about helping gays overcome their homosexual tendencies.

The conference was one of many initiatives launched by conservatives in the run-up to the synod aimed at reasserting traditional Catholic teaching on homosexuality, which holds that gays are to be respected but that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered."

In a clear challenge to that teaching, a mid-level official in the Vatican's orthodoxy office, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, announced Saturday that that he was a proud gay priest (with a boyfriend), called for the synod to take up the plight of gays, and denounced homophobia throughout the church.

The Vatican summarily fired him.

Gay rights activists, who were in Rome to try to influence the synod from the sidelines, came to his defense and urged the synod fathers to assert that there is no place for homophobia in the church.

Former Irish President Mary McAleese, a practicing Catholic with a gay son, said she hoped that more transparency would help "kill for once and all this terrible lie" that everyone was born heterosexual.

But there is little sense the synod will show any new great opening to gays after the first round pulled back on a ground-breaking welcome initiated mid-way through. In that mid-way report, the bishops said gay unions could provide "precious" support for partners.

In a new book "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?" author Edward Pentin asserts that the mid-way report was essentially manipulated by the Vatican's synod organizers, using heavy-handed, coercive tactics that didn't reflect the synod membership.

More movement may emerge on the other hot-button issue, whether divorced and civilly-remarried Catholics can receive Communion.

Catholics who divorce and want to remarry in the church must first obtain an annulment, a ruling from a church tribunal that their first marriage was invalid. Without the annulment, these civilly remarried Catholics are considered to be living in sin and cannot receive Communion, a condition that has lead generations of Catholics to feel shunned by their church.

Francis has sought a more merciful approach, insisting that these remarried Catholics be fully part of the life of the church. Progressive prelates led by German Cardinal Walter Kasper have called for a process by which a bishop could accompany these remarried Catholics on a path of penance that, over time and on a case-by-case basis, could lead to them receiving the sacraments.

Earlier this year, a handful of progressive German, Swiss and French bishops met in secret at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University to plot strategy ahead of the synod, allowing in only a handful of friendly progressive media in behind closed doors.

In the meantime, Francis pulled the rug out from under the debate to some degree by radically reforming the annulment process to make the decrees easier to obtain. Canon lawyers and conservatives have balked at the new law, asserting that it amounts to "Catholic divorce" — a charge Francis has vigorously denied.

Like it or not, however, the new law will make it easier for Catholics to get annulments, which may lessen the urgency of coming up with a definitive solution for the divorce/remarried issue at the synod.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Once in 200 Years' Downpour Threatens S.C.]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 06:42:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SouthCarolina-Rain.jpg

Some 22 million East Coast residents braced for more deadly flooding on Sunday as a "once in 200 years rainfall event" threatened South Carolina, NBC News reported.

At least four weather-related deaths have been reported since rains spread over the Eastern Seaboard. Overnight, 37 people were rescued from rising waters in Charleston, according to Charleston Fire Chief Karen Brack, who said she expected that number to rise as residents woke up and realized that they are trapped in their homes.

Forecasters also warned that wind gusts would top 35 mph across the Carolinas and Virginia, likely downing trees and power lines in the early hours. Flooded roads were closed throughout the mid-Atlantic region and power companies reported scattered outages in several states.

Flood watches and warnings also are in effect in Delaware and parts of New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Architect Phil Freelon, the Visionary Behind the Newest Smithsonian]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 02:28:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Phil-Freelon-Museum-DC.jpg

You may not know his name, but you probably know his work.

He designed the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opened with much fanfare in Atlanta in June of 2014. His portfolio also includes the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Emancipation Park in Houston, multiple library projects for the Washington D.C. Public Library System and the Durham County Human Services Complex in North Carolina.

Phil Freelon is widely considered one of the country's most talented architects.

A President Obama appointee to the National Commission of Fine Arts, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) and a recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, the proud Philly native who now calls Durham, North Carolina home, also happens to be African American. 

Photo Credit: File--The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors Without Borders Leaves Afghan City After Deadly Airstrikes]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 04:38:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MSF+Hospital+Bombing+1.JPG

The International medical charity Doctors Without Borders said on Sunday it had withdrawn from the northern Afghan city of Kunduz after a deadly airstrike destroyed its hospital and killed 19 people, including 12 MSF staffers, NBC News reported.

"MSF hospital in Kunduz is not functional anymore," Kate Stegeman, a Kabul-based spokesperson for the charity also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), announced in a tweet on Sunday.

The group blames the U.S. for the airstrike. Afghan officials said helicopter gunships returned fire from Taliban fighters who were hiding in the facility.

Investigations are continuing into Saturday's bombing of the hospital.

<![CDATA[U.S. Airmen Killed in Afghan Plane Crash ID'd]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 04:37:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Helicopter-US-Afghanistan.jpg

The six U.S. airmen killed Friday when their C-130 transport plane crashed during takeoff in Afghanistan have been identified, NBC News reported.

On Saturday, the Department of Defense named the dead Americans as Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, 33, of Camarillo, California; Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, of Abilene, Texas; Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, of Moundsville, West Virginia; Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida; and Airman 1st Class Kcey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia.

The four-engine turboprop aircraft plummeted shortly after midnight local time (3:19 p.m. ET) at Jalalabad airfield, coalition spokesman U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus said. In total, 13 people were killed.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aztecs Beat Fresno State 21-7]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:50:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/487929818.jpg

The Aztecs got a much needed win to kick off conference play against Fresno State to reclaim the Old Oil Can. The win put a stop to a three-game losing streak to give the Aztecs a 2-3 record on the season.

Junior running back Donnel Pumphrey had a big game with 124 rushing yards and a touchdown. That was his 15th 100-yard rushing game in his career, tying him for fourth on the Mountain West career chart. But he left the game early with an ankle injury. Head Coach Rocky Long said after the game the X-rays came back negative and he sustained a high ankle sprain.
The defense also showed for the Aztecs. They held the Bulldogs to 89 total offensive yards. 
San Diego State wins 21-7. They look to move on to 2-0 in conference play next week in Hawaii.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Youth Football Team Protests Expulsion ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:59:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/football32.JPG

The Otay Ranch Broncos were supposed to compete in a football game Saturday night – but instead they protested outside the stadium while two other teams played.

Last Saturday a fight broke out between parents in the stands while the Broncos and the Inland Empire Ducks played, resulting in the San Diego Youth Football league expelling both teams.

Leo Dorado, whose son has been on the team for three years, believes the expulsion was unjustified. “Whatever happened out there with the parents - that’s on them,” Doardo told NBC7. “They should get those parents out of the league, whatever they have to do, not the kids.”

As with many of the players, this is the last season before high school for Dorado’s son. “He’s just trying to finish up whatever he started with these boys.”

Paulette Roberts’ son is also playing in his last season with the league. “They did nothing wrong,” Roberts’ said. “The parents didn't even do anything wrong but we're taking blame for one of our parents who did do something wrong.”

Roberts’ son agrees with his mom. “They should just ban those parents that were fighting and just go on with the season.” Travis Hall Jr. said. “I hope we will be reinstated to the league and they will somehow repay us for the games we missed. He explained he feels mistreated and like they don’t have a voice.

On Wednesday morning, SDYFC Commissioner Cathy Luna sent an email to Broncos and Ducks leaders, informing them that their U14 teams were expelled for the rest of the season, according to Ducks Coach Keefe Pierson.

Rev. Shane Harris, president of the National Action Network, launched a civil lawsuit into the commission and Cathy Luna on Wednesday. “We have heard nothing that is why we are standing here today,” Harris said at the protest Saturday.

NBC 7 has reached out to the SDYFC about this story, but have not heard back.


Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Lose 2-1]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:17:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-491065174.jpg

In a game where the Padres were playing for nothing but respect and a love of the game while the Dodgers were playing for home field advantage in the playoffs, the advantage went to the team that needed the win.

Zach Greinke allowed one run on four hits over eight innings for the Dodgers to earn the National League ERA title. His offense helped with a Justin Turner solo home run in the first inning and an Adrian Gonzalez RBI ground out in the fourth to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Padres cut the Dodgers lead in half in the fifth when Austin Hedges hit his third home run of the season making it 2-1 L.A. But they couldn’t capitalize in the ninth. Jedd Gyorko singled and Kenley Jansen hit Brett Wallace to put the go-ahead run on, but Alexi Amarista and Hedges both had fly outs to preserve the Dodgers win.
With the New York Mets getting swept by the Nationals in a doubleheader, L.A. is ensured home field advantage for the Division Series.
Frank Garces (0-0, 5.00 ERA) is on the mound to prevent the sweep for the Padres tomorrow against Clayton Kershaw (16-7, 2.16 ERA). First pitch is at 12:10 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Campaign Courts Latino Voters]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:48:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/HilaryClinton-HumanRightsFoundation.jpg

Capitalizing on her still positive polling numbers with Latinos, Democrat Hillary Clinton is making the most of Hispanic Heritage Month to bolster her backing in the community and overall nationally, NBC News reported.

The campaign said Thursday it is launching "Latinos for Hillary" with several events that it will roll out over the next several weeks.

Clinton, the frontrunner early in the 2016 election, has seen her positive ratings drop among all voters and the wide lead over closest rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, shrink or disappear in New Hampshire and Iowa.

The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released this week shows Clinton with a negative popularity rating, 39 percent to 47 percent (-8) favorable/unfavorable among all voters. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[1 Wounded in Shooting Outside Bar]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 12:26:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC-Sports-Lounge-Shooting.jpg

One person was injured in a late-night shooting outside a bar in National City, police confirmed.

At around 12:35 a.m. Saturday, officers with the National City Police Department (NCPD) were called to the National City Sports Lounge at 2511 Sweetwater Rd. to investigate reports of shots fired.

There, officers discovered one person had been shot after a fight broke out near the bar. The victim suffered non-life threatening wounds and was taken to a local hospital.

Police roped off the area outside the business and collected evidence throughout the night. Several yellow evidence markers lined the small parking lot outside the bar and the street. A small blood stain could be seen on the cement.

The shooting is under investigation, and no further information was immediately released. No one else was hurt.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Missing and at Least 73 Dead in Guatemala Mudslide]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:01:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GuatemalaMudslide.jpg

Hopes faded of finding any remaining survivors of a massive landslide in Guatemala that killed at least 73 people, even as families scrabbled through rubble hoping to find the bodies of loved-ones, with hundreds of others still missing, NBC News reported.

Distraught relatives of the victims shoveled alongside diggers through the mounds of earth that destroyed homes in Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City after the collapse of a hillside on Thursday night. 

Every fresh batch of earth turned up by the diggers held more personal belongings, from mattresses and books to toys and Christmas decorations, reminders of around 350 people who authorities said were still unaccounted for.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[SDPD to Display Youth Graffiti Art ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:25:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cruise4.JPG

The San Diego Police Department hosted their fourth annual ‘Cruisin’ 4 Peace,’ in Skyline Saturday.

The cruise, a caravan of low riding police vehicles, drove for an hour around Southeast San Diego before ending up at Chris Wilson Memorial Park for an open house and festivities.

“It helps break down barriers,” San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said of the event meant to help strained relations between youth and police. “We let the community know that we’re in this together and that we must work together to make sure that San Diego’s the safest largest city in the United States.”

Sergio Gonzalez who works for the youth art program Writerz Blok, which teaches students to make street art, says they are partnering with the police department to showcase graffiti art in a positive way. “Our goal is to energize youth and show them the way to do art and build a career path for them.”

The Police Department’s Southeastern Division, which held its first annual open house Saturday, will house some of the graffiti art made by students with Writerz Blok.

“There’s a lot of tension between youth and the police so our goal is to merge those two and showcase some of their artwork in the police station,” Chief Zimmerman told NBC7.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies After Driving Into Intersection, Crashing: CHP]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:25:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

 An 84-year-old Carlsbad man died after he drove into an intersection and collided with another car near State Route 76, California Highway Patrol office Jim Bettencourt said. 

The crash happened at 3:45 p.m. Saturday when the man, driving his 2007 Toyota Corolla northbound on Valley Center Road stopped at a stop sign intersecting with SR-76. 

The man then drove directly into the path of a 2003 Chevrolet pickup towing a trailer, CHP said, for reasons that are unclear. 

The pickup, driven by a 47-year-old San Marcos man, was heading eastbound on SR-76 when he saw the Toyota, CHP officials said. He was unable to stop and crashed into the Toyota. 

The 84-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene after officials attempted to revive him. The San Marcos man did not suffer any injuries. Both drivers have not been identified by officials. 

It is unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. 

The crash is under investigation. 

No further information was immediately available. 

<![CDATA[ER Nurse Treats Dying Brother]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:09:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/209*120/Andy+2.jpg

A suspect was arrested in the fatal hit-and-run crash of Cesar Andres Medina, authorities said Saturday. 

Andrew Christopher Michaels, 19, of Laguna Niguel was arrested in connection with the crash, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

An emergency room nurse, Jennifer Medina, was trying to cope with the heartbreak after she discovered that the patient she was treating while working the night shift at a Southern California hospital was her dying brother, Cesar.

Medina, known to friends as Andy, was transported to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in San Juan Capistrano Friday night.

His sister, Jennifer Medina, was working a busy shift at the hospital when her 23-year-old brother was brought in unresponsive and not breathing.

As doctors worked frantically to save Medina, Jennifer Medina and her coworker looked for his identification. "I recognized the wallet ... And she opened it up and it was my brother's face right there," said Jennifer Medina in tears. "Everything just collapsed I just couldn't hold it together."

The collision was reported around 10:10 p.m. on Del Obispo Street and Paseo Carolina, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Witness accounts and evidence shows Medina was struck in the crosswalk as he crossed from the south to the north side of Del Obispo, OCSD said. Witnesses also said Cesar Andres Medina had the right of way while crossing on a green light.

"Please I'm begging the guy that killed my nephew to go to the police," said Mary Floyd, the victim's aunt.

"I just knew I wanted to say my last goodbyes to Andy after they cleaned him up," said Jennifer Medina. "And tell him how much I love him."

A GoFundMe page has been set up in Cesar Andres Medina's memory.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators said deputies located a truck matching the description of the vehicle believed to be involved in the hit-and-run.

The Dodge Ram truck was parked int he driveway of a home.

Michaels contacted the sheriff's department and after authorities interviewed him, he was arrested on felony hit-and-run.

He was set to be booked in Orange County Jail.

Anyone with information about the vehicle or who witnessed this collision is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Traffic Bureau at (714) 647-7000 or (949) 425-1860.

<![CDATA[SF More Expensive During Gold Rush]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 15:43:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GoldPanningGeneric_0608.jpg

San Francisco’s tech boom may be the cause of rising rents in the city, but, apparently, it’s nothing compared to the cost of living in California during the Gold Rush.

In 1849, as men flocked to the San Francisco area in hopes of hitting gold, local retailers took advantage of the situation by charging exorbitant prices for commodities, The Smithsonian reports. Back then, a dozen eggs could cost the equivalent of $90 today.

The Smithsonian cites the writings of Bayard Taylor, a reporter who wrote about the Gold Rush for the now-defunct New York Tribune. According to Taylor’s articles, some individual hotel rooms cost upwards of $10,000 a month – the equivalent of about $300,000 today.

But that’s not all.

Coffee could cost the equivalent of $1,200 per pound while a pair of shoes would run about $3,000.

While researchers have made various estimates for commodity pricing during the Gold Rush – some have priced coffee at around $100 per pound -- most of them agree: it was a very expensive, if not the most expensive time to live in the city.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Chula Vista F.D.: 'You Need Smoke Detectors']]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:24:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fire+truck2.JPG

‘Hear the Beep Where You Sleep – Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm.’ This is the campaign of 2015’s Fire Safety Week.

The Chula Vista Fire Department held an open house Saturday to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and other safety information.

“You need smoke detectors in your house,” says Justin Gipson, Chula Vista Fire Division Chief and Fire Marshall. Gipson says the fire department recommends placing smoke alarms in bedrooms, bedroom hallways and kitchens. He says people should check the smoke alarm each month by making sure it beeps when the button is pressed, and the batteries should be changed twice a year. 

“It’s priceless,” Gipson says of the open house, “It gives us as the firefighters that serve this community a chance to interact with the community outside of the stressful 911 calls that we experience unfortunately on a daily basis.”

The open house also taught the community about the International Association of Fire Chief’s ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ program for wildfires. It advocates making your home ready in case of a wildfire by clearing brush away from your house, using fire-resistant landscaping and having emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place.

Next you should be set by staying on top of the news and updates from the local fire department. Lastly, you need to be ready to go when it’s necessary to evacuate.

The event also included practice drills, a special fire safety house, rides in the ‘Little Fire Truck’ and puppet shows.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[12 Doctors, 7 Patients Killed From U.S. Airstrike]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:10:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_698247290605.jpg

 Twelve Doctors Without Borders staff along with seven patients, including three children, were killed after an apparent U.S. airstrike hit the international charity's hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz.

Another 37 others were injured in the strike: 19 staff members, including five in critical condition, and 18 patients and caretakers, according to Jason Cone, the executive director for Doctors Without Borders in the U.S. The organization didn't comment on the identities of the victims, but said all international staffers were alive and accounted for.

Coalition spokesman Col. Brian Tribus confirmed that a U.S. airstrike conducted at around 2:15 a.m. local time on Saturday (5:45 p.m. ET Friday) "may have caused collateral damage to a nearby health facility." The incident was being investigated, he added.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Finds Life Ring in Hunt for Missing Cargo Ship]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:15:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/EL_FARO.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard has found a life ring from a cargo ship that went missing during Hurricane Joaquin, searchers announced Saturday.

The Coast Guard said in a tweet that they have confirmed the life ring is from the El Faro, a 790-foot container ship that went missing Thursday with 33 people aboard — including 28 Americans. 

The El Faro was last heard from Thursday around 7:20 a.m. when it sent a distress call indicating it had lost power and was taking on water. It left for San Juan in Puerto Rico Tuesday from Jacksonville, Florida.

Joaquin was a topical storm when the ship departed, but the storm quickly grew in intensity and became a Category 4 hurricane when it lashed the Bahamas on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Capt. William Hoey]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Pub Celebrates 25th Anniversary]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:30:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Shakespeare-Pub-Grille-FB.jpg

A well-known British pub in San Diego’s Little Italy community certainly has something to toast to on Sunday as it celebrates 25 years in business.

In honor of the major milestone, Shakespeare Pub & Grille – the quirky little watering hole located at 3701 India St. – will roll back its prices on some fan favorites to what they were when the pub first opened in August 1990.

For example, the pub will serve its famous, very British Fish & Chips for $5.95, plus select 20-ounce pints from their taps for $3.75. The owners also plan to tap a cask of Firestone Walker Reserve Anniversary for the occasion and sell pints for $5 a pop.

The 25th anniversary party (and specials) will last from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. The shindig will also include giveaways and a customer appreciation raffle in which tickets will be drawn every two hours.

Shakespeare Pub & Grille is an authentic British pub owned and operated by British ex-pats. The English Tudor-style pub is hard to miss, and usually fittingly flies a Union Jack flag on its exterior.

Menu items include British comfort food such as Fish and Chips (normally $14.95), Shepherd’s Pie, Steak & Kidney Pot Pie and, of course, Bangers & Mash. The pub also serves traditional pub grub such as sandwiches and burgers.

The tap and bottled beer selection is a nod to the most popular brands from Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and the U.S., so there’s a pint for everyone, no matter your cultural roots.

The pub often hosts events – including screenings of rugby and soccer (aka “football”) games – and has become a popular spot for San Diegans to watch the World Cup.

Cheers, Shakespeare. Now, get thee to the pub.

Photo Credit: Shakespeare Pub & Grille/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Victims Attacked While Watching TV on Porch ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:13:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_185887181_police_lights_generic1.jpg

A man attacked two victims inside their screened porch Friday night in Lake Murray.

The attack happened at the 6300 block of Lake Kathleen Avenue around 7:49 pm.

The victims were watching TV when the suspect knocked down the side gate and threatened one victim while wielding a gun and knife.

He cut the first victim’s finger and forearm then pulled out a baton, hitting the victim on the shoulder and the other victim on the head.

He then fled the scene in an unknown direction. Paramedics treated and released both victims at the scene.

The suspect is described as a 41-year-old white male, 160 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, black pants, black boots and black gloves during the attack.

San Diego Police Detectives are investigating. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Priest Points Gun at 8-Year-Old Boy]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:24:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/priest+kevin+carter+arrested.jpg

A New Jersey church priest pointed a musket at an 8-year-old child inside his church and threatened him with it over an apparent sports rivalry, prosecutors say. 

The 54-year-old priest at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry was arrested Friday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said. 

The priest allegedly approached the boy before Mass services at the church on Sunday, Sept. 13, and asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms, according to prosecutors. 

Once they were in the room, the priest allegedly had the boy stand against the wall, then retrieved a musket and pointed it at him, prosecutors said, citing several witnesses.

"As he raised his weapon and pointed it at the boy, he said, 'I'm going to shoot you,'" Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told NBC 4 New York Friday. 

The boy was not hurt, Molinelli said.

One of the parishioners who witnessed the incident contacted Newark Archdiocese officials on Sept. 25, and the Archdiocese in turn contacted the prosecutor's office on Sept. 28. 

The prosecutor's office began investigating along with Little Ferry police, and on Friday, interviewed the priest at the rectory. A search of the room turned up the weapon that was allegedly used -- a functioning Civil War-style musket -- as well as gunpowder, ammunition and other associated items for the gun, authorities said. 

Prosecutors said the priest, a Giants fan, was apparently unhappy because the boy planned to root for the Cowboys in a game against the Giants later that day. 

"The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not. So perhaps we have indication it started out as that," said Molinelli. 

"There's no such thing as joking around with a weapon when you're dealing with an 8-year-old kid," he added. 

The Giants lost to the Cowboys 26-27 on Sept. 13. 

The priest, Kevin Carter, was jailed on $15,000 bail. He was still in custody at Little Ferry Police headquarters Friday night and could not be reached; it wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 

The Archdiocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The prosecutor's office says Carter was ordained in Newark in November 1986 and has since worked at various Roman Catholic churches across the Archdiocese. He has been at St. Margaret of Cortona since February 2013. 

<![CDATA[Hundreds Run to Support Teen Battling Cancer]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:33:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/RunforCharityKaseyPic1003-PIC_0.jpg

 Hundreds from across the county came out Saturday to run and support a Rancho Penasquitos teenager battling cancer.

"There's people here I don't even know that showed up and are here to support me and it's…it's so amazing,” said Kasey Harvey, who has been battling a rare form of cancer since last November. After 42 tough weeks of treatment, she is in remission.

The Harvey family of Rancho Penasquitos were the first to bring concerns about the former president and CEO of a San Diego cancer charity, Brianna King, and the charity, WishWarriors, to NBC 7 Investigates. They said after their daughter, Kasey, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer last year, WishWarriors reached out and promised the family financial support if the organization could highlight them.

They agreed, but have never seen any money from the organization. 

On Sept. 1, King pleaded guilty in San Diego Superior Court to grand theft in connection to her time at the helm of nonprofit WishWarriors. The district attorney’s office opened a criminal investigation into King after an NBC 7 Investigation revealed children profiled by the charity never received the donations they were promised. It was in early July a WishWarriors board member confirmed most of the money raised by the charity appeared to be gone.

Susan, Kasey’s mother, said it’s hard for her daughter not to smile after overcoming one obstacle after another.

“Cancer costs a lot of money,” Susan said. “Whether it's Kasey eating correctly, or physical therapy, you know the gas back and forth to the hospital four times a week.”

Nearly 500 people from across the county – friends, family and complete strangers – all touched by Harvey’s story, came to Saturday’s event to offer a helping hand in the form of a charity 5K run, appropriately called the “5-Kasey Fun Run and Walk”.

"They have insurance, but it doesn't cover one of the parents having to quit their job to be [there] 7/24 taking care of a very, very sick little girl,” said family friend Nadra Hess.

Hess and several others organized the event. “She needed to be there for her [Kasey] so we needed to be there for her,” she added.

For Susan, the community support has been overwhelming. 

"The community and these people have lifted us and have carried us through this journey and that's the honest truth, they really have,” said Susan.

Saturday morning, Susan gave out high fives to those participating in the 5-K while focusing on the positive.

"This celebration today is helping put a closure on that chapter. After today, it's a new life,” she shared.

The 14-year-old athlete said she’s looking forward to getting starting something she missed: soccer.

“I've missed that a lot throughout the whole year and that's one thing I really want to get back to,” said Kasey.

Even organizers said they exceeded their goal, raising more than $12,000. IF you would like to donate, you can do so by visiting Kasey's website here. 

According to Deputy District Attorney James Teh, if King pays at least $10,000 in restitution to WishWarriors by December, prosecutors will not oppose her request to serve jail time in San Diego. He said that $10,000 figure gives you an idea of the amount she admitted to stealing.

NBC 7 Investigates first reported on King’s criminal history in July. In San Diego County, King was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in 2004 to four misdemeanor counts for using fraudulent checks and burglary. Though she was ordered to pay $2,905, probation documents show she never paid the full amount.

<![CDATA[CT Dunkin Donuts Wouldn't Serve Cop]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:44:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/West+Hartford+Dunkin+Donuts+1200.jpg

A Dunkin' Donuts employee is apologizing after telling a police officer waiting to buy coffee that a Connecticut location doesn't serve cops, police said.

A West Hartford police officer was waiting at the back of the line in the Dunkin' Donuts at 1234 Farmington Ave. to buy a cup of coffee at the coffee franchise when one of the employees said loudly before a room of several customers, "He didn't get the message. We don't serve cops here," police said.

The officer immediately left without another word from any workers. On his way to his cruiser, the franchise manager brought the employee outside to apologize to the officer for the comment. The employee told the policeman the statement was a joke, according to the police report.

The officer told the employee to apologize to the customers who appeared offended instead of to him, so the employee went inside with him and did so. The worker offered the officer a free cup of coffee to make up for it, but he declined and said he would get one elsewhere, police reported.

The manager apologized for her employee's behavior and notified the regional manager, telling the officer she would handle the situation. Dunkin' Donuts corporate office was also notified.

"We are aware of the situation at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1234 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford," Michelle King, senior director of global public relations for Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. said in a statement released to NBC Connecticut. "The crew member exhibited poor judgment and apologized immediately to the police officer. The franchise owner, a long-time supporter of local police, has also reached out to apologize on behalf of the restaurant. Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees share a commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all guests."

<![CDATA[14-Year-Old Charged in 15 Robberies]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 04:30:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Teen-Armed-Robbery-Suspect.jpg

A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged in connection to 15 robberies near Drexel University in Philadelphia in August and September. 

During an incident on Sept. 29, a woman and another victim had just gotten into her car around 11:15 p.m on the 3900 block of Baring Street. The woman told police she tried several times to close her car door but believed it was stuck. She then heard the other victim repeatedly yell, “Mom,” police said. The woman told investigators she then looked up and saw the teen boy holding a gun. 

The boy then allegedly told her, “Get out of the car you f****** b****,” several times. The woman and second victim then fled into a nearby home while the boy entered their car, police said. After a few moments, the teen exited the car and fled in another direction.

While the boy didn’t take anything during that incident, during  other robberies the teen stole cellphones, cash, credit cards, house keys, and medication, police said. He also allegedly pistol whipped a victim during an incident on Sept. 18 on the 500 block of North 34th Street and punched a woman twice in the face during an incident on Sept. 30 on the 400 block of N. Preston Street.

On Sept. 30, detectives interviewed the victim of a robbery on the 400 block of N. Preston Street. Investigators told the woman, who is a student at Drexel, to log into her Discover Credit Card account to cancel her stolen card. While she was logging in the woman received an email stating that a suspicious transaction occurred at a business on the 700 block of N. 38th street around 7:24 a.m. that day, police said.

An investigator went to the business and recovered surveillance video of the teen suspect using the woman’s credit card at the ATM machine inside the store, according to police. Investigators then retrieved still images of the suspect.

On Friday police officers spotted the suspect riding a purple bicycle on 37th Street and Fairmount Avenue, investigators said. The officers noticed the teen looked like the suspect in the surveillance video and that he was riding a purple bicycle that was described in some of the previous robberies. The teen was taken in for questioning and officials obtained a search warrant for his home.

As they searched they found clothing he wore in previous robberies as well as other bicycles he used, police said.

The teen was arrested and charged with 15 counts of robbery and other related offenses. Police believe he used a BB gun during the robberies.

The robberies occurred at the following times at the following locations:

  • Sept. 30, 400 block of N. Preston Street
  • Sept. 29, 3900 block of Baring Street
  • Sept. 27, 400 block of N. 41st Street
  • Sept. 21, Preston Street and Powelton Avenue
  • Sept. 21, 4400 block of Sansom Street
  • Sept. 18, 32nd Street and Haverford Avenue
  • Sept. 18, 3100 block of Hamilton Street
  • Sept. 18, 500 block of N. 34th Street
  • Sept. 18, 600 block of N. 34th Street
  • Sept. 17, 600 block of N. 32nd Street
  • Sept. 10, 4000 block of Baring Street
  • Sept. 5, 4000 block of Spring Garden Street
  • Sept. 5, 34th Street and Mantua Avenue
  • Sept. 5, 3500 block of Hamilton Street
  • Aug. 30, 400 block of N. 35th Street

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police ]]>
<![CDATA[Hope Renewed After Family Moves Out of Junkyard]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 15:46:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lorenza-Cardenas.jpg

Lorenza Cardenas and her two daughters, 8-year-old Alexis and 11-year-old Mercedes finally feel safe.

They're now living in a small apartment in Logan Heights – a stark contrast to the place they once called home.

"I feel good. I feel better than over there. I feel the hope again. Over there I had no hope," said Cardenas.

NBC 7 first met Cardenas in November 2014, when she and her daughters lived in a small storage unit inside of a junkyard located on Commercial Avenue in Logan Heights.

Several other people lived inside the junkyard, in makeshift dwellings and trailers. They all shared one bathroom.

It also was packed with unwanted cars and bicycles, along with discarded appliances, wood planks, and pipes.

Cardenas said she was worried about her two young daughters when they lived there.

That's not the case anymore.

Mercedes said she's happy to live in a better environment, where she also has other kids to play with.

“I feel we don't have to be scared of going outside," the girl said.

The junkyard wasn't visible from the street because it was enclosed with a solid, metal fence and locked. Only residents could get inside.

Then last fall, the Cardenas family got help.

San Diego police officers responded to a radio call inside the junkyard.

Officers witnessed the living conditions and returned with an electric stove they purchased with their own money.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer Ricardo Rivas, a 16-year veteran of the department, said he had never seen anything like the living conditions at the junkyard.

"It was just devastating. It broke our hearts," Officer Rivas said.

The officers kept in touch.

They gave the family donated goods and even helped the family look for another place to live.

Cardenas said she and her girls are so grateful for the help from the officers.

"I never expected to be important to anybody else," the mother said.

The family moved out of the storage unit earlier this year, when Cardenas said she was told everyone had to leave.

She eventually found another place to live by walking the neighborhood. Cardenas said it took a while because she wanted her two daughters to be able to stay at their same schools.

"I think the continued support, me helping her, answering her questions, helped her, motivated her to continue fighting for her children," said Officer Rivas.

Police tell NBC 7 it's important for them to build trust and relationships in the community because what they do now can sometimes last for years, and even generations.

"Those kids, hopefully they'll grow up to be good citizens in our community too, from the positive contact with us," said Officer Rivas.

NBC 7 recently went back to the junkyard in Logan Heights. It's now empty, the graffiti on the fence covered with gray paint.

NBC 7 contacted the City of San Diego about that property. Police officers had responded to the address numerous times for nuisance activity and medical response.

A city spokesperson told NBC 7 that once the SDPD told them about the property, code enforcement officers at the Development Services Department began an investigation.

The property is developed as a single-family dwelling with a large undeveloped area in the rear, accessed by an alley.

"Reportedly, the tenants in the front dwelling had, over time, allowed numerous squatters and transients to occupy the rear portion of the lot," explained Lynda Pfeifer, the city's Supervising Public Information Officer.

"Our inspector immediately contacted the property owner who was seemingly unaware of the condition of his property. The property owner was ordered to take the necessary legal steps to evict the uninvited squatters and transients and to clean out the entire rear portion of the property," she added.

The illegal occupants vacated by June and the property owner cleaned out the rear portion of the property. The city closed its case in July.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[NY Explosion Kills 1, Injures 3]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:25:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pots-n-watts1.jpg

A gas stove is the suspected source of an explosion Saturday that killed a woman, injured three passersby and devastated a three-story building in Brooklyn, New York. 

The 1 p.m. blast tore the facade from the front of a building on 42nd Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park, fire officials said.

The explosion might have been sparked while a high-end stove was being disconnected from a gas line, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said during a news conference with Mayor de Blasio. Investigators believe the blast occurred on the second floor, he said.

The woman who died was found in a stairwell near the second floor, the commissioner said. Her identity wasn't disclosed. Firefighters believe she was the only person in the building.

A 33-year-old man and his 10-year-old son and a 27-year-old man were injured by bricks and other debris blown onto the sidewalk as they walked past the front of the building, Nigro said. They are expected to survive their injuries but were taken to area hospitals.

Approximately 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which was quickly brought under control. Five firefighters sustained minor injuries, Nigro said.

It appears that the building is home to housewares store and several apartments. The building was severely damaged and could collapse, fire officials said.

"We will be doing a full investigation," said de Blasio.

The incident prompted Gov. Cuomo to direct the state Department of Public Service to investigate the cause of the explosion.

"This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents that occurred in Harlem and the East Village," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by today's explosion, especially the friends and family of those lost or injured."

On March 26, a gas line exploded at a Sushi restaurant in the East Village. Two men were killed and 25 others were injured. Evidence indicated that someone had tampered with the gas lines or meters, investigators said at the time.

The East Village incident occurred one year after a similar blast killed eight people in an East Harlem building. Federal investigators released a a report a few months ago that blamed the explosion on poorly crafted pipe-joint and an old sewer line that cause a gas line to break.

<![CDATA[Have the Rams Cut the Chargers Out of L.A.?]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 09:51:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/stan-kroenke-137251940.jpg

The NFL is going to be back in Los Angeles one day. After about nine months of speculation, talk, rumors, land sales, meetings, threats and Roger Goodell quotes, that is pretty much all we know.

If we apply the 5 W’s (and How) of Writing to this situation, it would be woefully short of complete:

Who: ?????
What: Move an NFL team back to the Los Angeles market
When: ?????
Where: ?????
Why: $$$$$
How: ????? (Although by alienating a fan base and filling up a bunch of moving vans would technically work here)

One rumor has the Chargers joining the Rams in a stadium to be built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke in Inglewood. It would make sense on the surface but a recent report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests the Bolts would be loath to move in with the Rams because of a business deal gone bad.

The story (which you can read in its entirety here) says in 2013 Chargers owner Dean Spanos called Kroenke asking if they would like to join together in establishing a stadium on the Inglewood/Hollywood Park site. According to the story Kroenke then went ahead and bought up all the land himself, eliminating Spanos.

If that is the case it would be near impossible for the Chargers to overlook such a bad business deal and be roommates with Kroenke’s Rams. However, the Bolts say that is not the case.

“No, Dean did not call Kroenke about a land purchase,” said Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani. “Dean never made any effort to buy the land from Walmart.”

Walmart was the owner of a 60-acre parcel of land next to a nearly 250-acre spot owned by Stockbridge Capital Group. Dean Spanos and Stan Kroenke did sit down to have dinner prior to Kroenke purchasing the land but according to Fabiani, “Dean made no effort to acquire the 60 acres of land” before, during or after that dinner.

Kroenke’s purchase of those 60 acres was publicized in early 2014 and his company partnered with Stockbridge Capital to form the Hollywood Park Land Co. From the partnership the “City of Champions Revitalization Project,” which includes the proposed stadium, was born. However, the notion that Spanos is feeling jilted by Kroenke and the Rams may not have legs.

“The Chargers have never asked the Rams to join the Chargers in a stadium pursuit,” said Fabiani.

That would suggest the NFL could very well get the Rams and Chargers together in Inglewood, one of dozens of possibilities still alive in the NFL’s ongoing stadium soap opera.

Photo Credit: FILE/Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ DUI Suspect Crashes Van Into Home]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 10:44:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC-Ax-1003.jpg

Residents in a National City neighborhood were evacuated from their homes early Saturday morning after a DUI suspect crashed his van into a house, shearing off a gas line.

According to officials, the crash happened around 2:15 a.m. in the 300 block of East 31st Street. Two men – both suspected of being under the influence – were in a van that slammed into a home.

No one was in the house at the time of the crash, officials said, and no one was injured.

When police arrived, they realized a gas line had been impacted in the collision. As a precaution, officers evacuated residents along the entire block while San Diego Gas & Electric crews worked to repair the line.

The late-night evacuation lasted about three hours.

The men inside the van were arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI. Their names were not released.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Neighbors Rescue Elderly Man Threatened by Garage Fire ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 10:26:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/el-cajon-house-fire.gif

A raging fire engulfed a detached garage in El Cajon, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the surrounding neighborhood and spreading to cars parked nearby.

The building — which looked large enough to be a home — in the 2300 block of Charles Way caught fire at 4:45 p.m.

Soon, the flames grew and began to threaten the main house, where 83-year-old Earvin Brundege was home alone.

Neighbors soon became concerned for his safety.

"We're trying to call him to the door. 'Open the door, open the door!'" recalled Mike Dorendorf. "He's just looking at us, deer in the headlights."

Brundege's family told NBC 7 he suffers from dementia and Parkinson's disease.

When they saw he was not making a move to get out, Dorendorf and a friend used a rock to smash the front window. His friend climbed into the house and let Dorendorf in through the front door.

"We both went in and were trying to talk him out and he didn't want to go," he said. "So we picked him up and carried him out and got him across the street." 

As the fire department declared it a second-alarm incident, at least five fire engines, a brush unit and many firefighters rushed to the scene to fight the flames.

Meanwhile, Brundege's family arrived, thanking the man's rescuers.

But his son-in-law, Don Steward, was anguishing over a mistake he had made.

"I'm upset because I know how it started and it's negligence on my part," he said.

Steward explained that he had been working in his embroidery and screening workshop in the garage.

While there, he said he bumped a piece of machinery which stayed on under a piece of wood. It threw off flames that were high enough to catch the garage on fire.

Firefighters were able to get a handle on the fire by about 5:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: ndie Adams]]>
<![CDATA[Oregon Shooter's Note, 'Felt World Was Against Him': Police]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 03:57:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TLMD-oregon-atacante-chris-harper-mercer-2.jpg

The heavily armed gunman who slaughtered nine people at an Oregon college left a hate-filled note at the scene of his rampage and "felt the world was against him," law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.

Two officials familiar with the contents of the note say 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer, who was killed in after an exchange of gunfire with police Thursday at Umpqua Community College, wrote that he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."

He wrote that he was "in a bad way," one official said. "He was depressed, sullen."

The officials said Mercer lamented the fact that he did not have a girlfriend. "He said he had no life," another official said, adding: "He felt the world was against him."

Photo Credit: Myspace.com via NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Teacher Recalls Running Into Burning Home]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 10:17:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tom+coons.JPG

A quick-thinking world history teacher may have saved two women when he helped lead them away from a house fire.

Colleagues of seventh grade teacher Tom Coon reached out to NBC 7 to share the story of his actions during a recent City Heights fire.

The fire happened Monday afternoon in the 3400 block of Fairmount Avenue as a single-story home went up in flames.

“I was looking at it and all of the sudden I had a feeling like I needed to go help and do something,” Coon told NBC 7 in an exclusive interview Friday.

When Coon saw a flash and heard someone yell there was a fire, he said he ran out of Monroe Clark Middle School, jumped over a fence and went straight to the home.

Another man — a stranger — joined him, and together they saw a person come out from the smoke.

“We asked him if there were more people in the house, and he said ‘Yes, two more people,'” recalled Coon.

“We just sort of looked at each other and went into the house,” he added.

The smoke made it almost impossible to see inside. Coon said there were only a few inches of breathable air near the ground, so they started yelling for people to come out.

Suddenly, they saw two figures emerge. The men helped lead the two women to safety.

“What I could hear them saying is ‘What’s happening? What’s going on? How did this happen?’” Coon said.

Firefighters said the house suffered $200,000 in structure damage, $50,000 in damage to its contents inside and $20,000 in exposure damage. No injuries were reported.

“To think someone could be injured is really scary,” he said.

Coon’s colleagues and students think he’s a hero, but he doesn’t see it that way. He believes most other people in his community would have done the same thing.

“City Heights is a great community. People do look out for each other here,” he said.

<![CDATA[Coast Guard Stresses Safety For Lobster Divers]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:45:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lobster10.JPG

As spiny lobster season opens, the Coast Guard is warning divers to be extra cautious going out into the water. The goal is to begin and end the season without any deaths or injuries.

During last year's lobster season in Southern California, five people lost their lives in dive-related deaths and two were injured. Lobster diving, not to be confused with regular diving, can be very dangerous. Coast Guard authorities say there's a lot more to it than just diving.

“You're actively trying to grab the lobsters, maintain a hold of them while monitoring your air pressure in your tank, your location under the water,” Lt. Cmdr. Kris Szczechowicz of the Coast Guard said.

All of that makes this a sport for the experienced diver. Last year among the five people who lost their lives was husband, father and experienced diver Jeffrey Logrando. He began struggling with his gear shortly after getting in the water at the Mission Bay Channel and then suddenly sank.

James Roberts has been diving for several years, but Friday he prepared for his first lobster dive. At the start of this season, officials urge that before you even get into the water, get a medical assessment from a doctor to make sure you’re in good condition. They say to check your gear, practice with it, leave behind a dive plan with someone else and - as Roberts can attest to - always dive with a buddy.

“We were diving last weekend as well and I happen to cross a fishing line I didn't see,” Roberts told NBC7. “So my buddy was there, he untangled the fishing line and we carried on.”

Authorities say many of these accidents happen because people underestimate the hazards of diving and overestimate their own ability.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Reporter Flies With Air Show Team]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:32:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Megan-Breitling.jpg There’s a new group making its debut at the 2015 MCAS Miramar Air Show: The Breitling Jet Team, a civilian squad of acrobatic flyers, sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker. The team originates from France and flies L-39 Albatross aircraft. NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian took an unforgettable flight with the team – and couldn’t help but let out a couple of screams during the airborne adventure in our local skies.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Students Surpass Hefty Goal in Food Drive]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:04:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/St-Pats-Donations.jpg

Students from a school in Carlsbad far exceeded their goal for a recent food drive that will help the hungry.

Known as the “St. Pat’s Angels,” students from St, Patrick’s Catholic School originally set their sights on collecting 5,000 items for their food drive.

Instead, the Angels managed to gather more than 15,000 items, with a first grade class alone collecting 4,000 of those goods.

All of the food was donated to the organizations Bread of Le and Got Your Back, and will help feed hungry families in need.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Cuomo Creates Scholarship for Slain Aide]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:57:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_963912915416.jpg


Gov. Cuomo has created a scholarship and fellowship honoring former aide Carey Gabay, who was fatally shot after being caught in gang crossfire.


The scholarship will be awarded annually to five students at State University of New York schools and will cover the full cost of attendance.

The fellowship is open to attorneys interested in public service. Winners will spend two years in the office of the counsel to the governor focusing on issues relating to violence and poverty.

To be eligible for the programs applicants must come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gabay was shot in the head during a predawn party celebrating the West Indian Day Parade Sept. 7. He died Sept. 15. No arrests have been made.

The 43-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer served as first deputy general counsel at the Empire State Development Corp.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest in Murder of Dallas Dentist]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 07:55:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/kendra+hatcher.JPG

Dallas police say they have arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting a Dallas dentist last month at her Uptown apartment parking garage.

Kristopher Love, 31, is charged with capital murder and is being held on a $2.5 million bond, Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron announced in a Friday evening press conference.

Love also faces a federal charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Geron said when Love was arrested, he was allegedly in possession of the weapon believed to have been used in the murder.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Love Friday.

Geron said an alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Brenda Delgado, is wanted on a capital murder charge and is considered a fugitive.

Murder in Uptown Parking Garage Sept. 2

Kendra Hatcher, 35, was fatally shot Sept. 2 in the parking garage of her Uptown apartment complex.

Geron said investigators believe the motive in the deadly shooting was murder-for-hire. Delgado is suspected of having a role in the planning of the murder, Geron said.

Police said Hatcher pulled into the garage at her residence, the Gables Park 17 apartments on Cedar Springs Road, and parked her vehicle at about 7:45 p.m.

Sometime before Hatcher arrived home, the driver of a Jeep Cherokee followed another driver into the garage and parked, according to Geron, with the Dallas Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Division.

While Hatcher parked, Geron said, someone got out of the Cherokee and appeared to approach Hatcher. Police said witnesses then described hearing a gunshot and the person who exited the Cherokee then returned to the vehicle and drove away.

Hatcher was found deceased next to her car.

Woman Arrested on Capital Murder Charge

Dallas police said 23-year-old Crystal Cortes admitted her involvement in the murder.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Cortes told detectives she was behind the wheel of the Jeep Cherokee spotted by a witness on the the night Hatcher was shot and killed.

Cortes told detectives she was paid $500 to drive a man to that parking garage for a robbery. She also said that man she drove is the shooter, according to the affidavit.

According to an arrest affidavit, Love admitted to his role in the robbery which resulted in Hatcher's death.

Cortes was arrested Sept. 4 and also faces a capital murder charge.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Bush on School Shooting Reaction: 'Stuff Happens']]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:56:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_183581022528.jpg

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush drew a rebuke from the president for comments he made Friday about the university shooting that left nine people and a gunman dead in Oregon the day before.

Speaking at a campaign stop in South Carolina, Bush urged caution on the government's reaction to the Umpqua Community College shooting, using the phrase "stuff happens" in reference to crises.

"I resist the notion -- and I had this challenge as governor -- 'cause look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do," Bush said.

Bush called the shooting "heartbreaking," but was speaking about the larger issue of how to set rules in the face of tragedy. 

"We're taking people's rights away each time we do that and we're not necessarily focusing on the right challenge," he said.

He said "the best laws" are usually at the state level.

Bush's campaign addressed the outrage over his comments in statement:

“It is sad and beyond craven that liberal Democrats, aided and abetted by some in the national media, would dishonestly take Governor Bush’s comments out of context in a cheap attempt to advance their political agenda in the wake of a tragedy. Taking shameless advantage of a horrific tragedy is wrong and only serves to prey on people's emotions.”

President Barack Obama was asked to respond to Bush’s comments at a news conference Friday afternoon.

"I don’t even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgment based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And they can decide whether they consider that 'stuff happening,'" Obama said.

Bush, pressed by a reporter in Greenville about the phrase "stuff happens," said the choice of wording was not a mistake but about tragedies in general. He cited as an example an "impulse" to pass a law about fencing after a child drowns in a pool. 

Photo Credit: File - AP
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